Working Smarter

#MoreSalesLessTime Challenge #3: Starting Strong



Welcome to the third More Sales, Less Time Challenge.

How did your little single tasking experiment go? Personally, I found it so hard. I could not believe how much I disrupted and distracted myself. I was my own worst enemy.

The sheer willpower it took to keep me focused and on task wore me out. I was decent in the morning, but as the day wore on my bad habits returned in force. Turns out that we only have a certain amount of willpower each day. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

After a while, it became clear to me that I was not capable of controlling my distractions by myself. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. Over the course of several months, I experimented with a variety of apps to keep me focused.

The one that I want to mention today is Freedom. It works on a variety of devices and depending on how I set it, blocks me from either going online, visiting social media sites or using certain apps for a designated time period. Much as I hated it at times, it worked.

Having that firewall restored my sanity and enabled me to get more work done. I didn’t have to use my willpower anymore. The app did it for me. In case you’re interested, I share all the apps I used in my book.

Seriously, distraction is killing our productivity. Our own distraction and everything that’s online beckoning us to click here, read this and watch that. It is part of our human nature though. It’s our brain doing its job.

So we have to learn how to work in a world where we are constantly being rewarded for going off task. No one ever taught us how to work in this environment. But it’s foundational for our success.

You can easily rescue one—if not two hours or more—each and every day. One to two hours per day. That’s a lot of extra time you can use to bring in more sales, spend more time with your family or to enjoy something completely different that you love.

Now, onto our next challenge. This one is going to be easy compared to our first couple. How we start each day matters. Right now, most of are hopping onto email right away. This is not the best way to begin.

According to Laura Vanderkam, who’s the author of What Most Successful People do Before Breakfast, we need a morning routine that we use every single day. First off, it gets us focused on what matters. But it also allows us to capitalize on our best thinking.

This is supported by numerous researchers who say that we have about 2 to 2.5 hours of peak productivity each day. And, that it usually happens a couple hours after we wake up. To make more sales in less time, we need to leverage our very best hours of the day to work on our most important projects.

So. Here’s your official challenge for the next few days. Before you do anything, even email—take 10-minutes to ease yourself into the day. Have a cup of coffee. Review what’s already planned for the day and then think: What are the three most important things I need to get done today. Now, take a look at all three and ask yourself, If I could only get one done, what would it be?

Once you’ve decided, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, what the best way is to spend your time. This challenge should be fun. As you’re doing it, reflect on how your day is different because of this quiet morning routine.

I’ll be back shortly with your next More Sales Less Time Challenge.

After a successful career in the sales world, writing five books, and speaking internationally, Jill is now tackling an even bigger challenge. She's focused on bringing the "millions in the middle" together to solve some of the biggest issues facing our country and the world. Jill truly believes so much more is possible if we can work together.